Laura Carmichael | Costume designer Anna Robbins embraced changing trends in Downton Abbey: A New Era

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‘Downton Abbey: A New Era costume designer thought it “glorious” to put Laura Carmichael in pants for the first time.

The second film in the period drama is set in the late 1920s and Anna Robbins enjoyed embracing the changing trends of the times, taking particular pleasure in finding clients for Laura’s character, Lady Edith.

She said: “I found a beautiful pajama set for Edith and we put her in pants for the first time, which was beautiful.

“It was the perfect moment.

“As a forward-thinking worker, Edith would have absolutely agreed to wear trousers at the first opportunity.”

And Anna and Michelle Dockery were keen to use clothes to show a “softer” side to the actress’ alter ego, Lady Mary Talbot.

Anna said: “Michelle and I discussed how we would show a softer, more vulnerable side of Lady Mary through silhouette, fabric and color.

“I considered reintroducing a waistline to her outfits. During the 1920s dresses became more linear, then they became a drop waist, and then in the late 20s we got back to the waistline shape.

The marriage of Tom Branson (Allen Leech) and Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton) provided Anna with one of her favorite moments working on the film, admitting that finding the right wedding dress was a “labor of love”.

She said to the British HELLO! magazine: “It’s one of my favorites, but it’s hard for a wedding dress not to fit into your best suits.

The “quintessential 1920s bride” look included a layered asymmetrical skirt, low back and vintage veil.

Anna said: “It was cutting edge for its time. I wanted to create a contrast between the wedding dresses we’ve seen previously in the series and make it look like Lucy would be able to lift her skirt and dance.


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